Michael Bloomberg

DEFINITION of 'Michael Bloomberg'

Michael Bloomberg is one of the wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $34.8 billion in 2014 according to Forbes. He amassed his fortune from his global company Bloomberg LP, the well-known financial news and information service. He owns 88% of the company.

Bloomberg was born in 1942 outside Boston and grew up in Medford, Massachusetts. He earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1964, which he paid for by working as a parking lot attendant and taking out loans. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966.

BREAKING DOWN 'Michael Bloomberg'

In 1966, he began working in New York at the now-defunct Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank, where he counted bond and stock certificates in the bank’s vault. He moved up to bond trading, then became a partner in 1972. Salomon Brothers demoted him from his position of head of equity trading and sales in 1979 and moved him into computers. In 1981 when the company went public, Bloomberg received a $10 million severance package.

He then founded an information technology company called Innovative Market Solutions that gave traders information about the market for Treasury bonds. Merrill Lynch became a major client and investor in 1982. This company grew into what is today Bloomberg LP.

Bloomberg ran for mayor of New York in 2002, switching from Democrat to Republican because he thought it would help him stand out as a candidate. He wasn’t expected to win in a Democrat-dominated city, but went on to be mayor of New York for three terms, from 2002 through 2013. During this time he stepped down as CEO of his company and worked to fix the city’s public school system and revitalize its old industrial areas. He implemented a citywide smoking ban in all indoor offices and at parks and beaches and helped the city reduce welfare recipients by 25%. He changed legislation to allow himself to run for a third term and spent $90 million of his own money on that campaign.

He and his former wife, Susan Brown, have two children. His charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, is focused on donating to public health, arts and culture, the environment, government innovation and education, and he has donated more than $2.4 billion of his wealth over the years.

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